Yesterday four of us sisters discussed contemplation. Sounds like a deep subject, but it really isn’t. Contemplation is not just for contemplatives but for everyone. I once read that people pray more often than they think they do. I think they contemplate without even realizing it. The word itself simply means being in the presence of God, in a holy space. Well, now, doesn’t God fill the whole universe? We are always in God’s presence. The trick is to be aware of it. In our conversation, several roads to contemplation surfaced.
Silence. Withdrawing from the noise and clatter of everyday and taking refuge in the peace of stillness opens our soul to the divine.
A candle. The flame, the beauty and mystery of fire, calms us and helps us focus us on higher things.
Nature. Who hasn’t had their breath taken away by the glory of a night sky, the immensity of a lake or ocean, the intricacy of a spider web, the beauty of a flower? Those are God-moments that lift our hearts to the Creator who designed and made such wonders.
Music. The melodies and rhythms of music and maybe the lyrics touch something deep in us. We are swept out of ourselves.
Poetry. The words and images of a poem lead us to look at life in a different way. They put us in touch with reality and the big truths.
A picture, either physical or in our mind. A visual has power to conjure up feelings, including feelings toward God, such as awe and love.
Memory. Recollections of times when God stepped into our lives in unexpected and welcome ways moves our heart toward him.
Morning. Rising from sleep and devoting our first minutes to prayer before the onslaught of daily activities begins is when we are empty and ready for God.
These roads take us to contemplation, a simple resting in God where we overflow with love and adoration. Then as someone said, all of our practical activities will be tinged with divinity.
What lifts you to contemplation?